Chicken with Fennel and Chorizo

Image of fennel frondsI owe this recipe to Diana Henry because when I was seeking inspiration in her book Bird In The Hand I found a passing reference to roasting chicken with chorizo and fennel.

Not so much a recipe as an idea and an extremely good one. I’m not sure how Diana made hers but this is my interpretation. We ate it as a one-pan dish with focaccia but you could add a green salad, potatoes…whatever works for you.

I used baby fennel from the garden but I’m assuming you’ll be using bigger bulbs and have written the recipe accordingly. Use the smaller measurements given for two people and scale up accordingly.

Chicken with Fennel and Chorizo

Image of chicken with fennel and chorizo


1-2 chicken thighs per person, bone in, skin on

2-3 fennel bulbs

2 smallish red onions

About 60-100g spicy chorizo, sliced

1-2 tspn sweet Spanish paprika

1 tspn fennel seeds (optional)

Oil, salt and pepper

A splash of sherry or white wine to de-glaze the pan

Fennel fronds, to garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Slash the chicken thighs with a sharp knife, not too deep, and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with paprika and set aside for a couple of hours if you have time.

Top and tail the fennel, reserving any fronds, and discard the tough outer leaves. Quarter the bulbs and cut out the hard core. Steam until almost tender but still al dente and drain thoroughly. Peel the onions and cut into quarters or thick wedges.

Image of dish ready for the oven

Put the vegetables and sliced chorizo in the base of a roasting tin and drizzle with a little oil. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and sit it on top, brushing more it with more oil and sprinkling with the fennel seeds, if using.

Roast in the oven for around 40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear when you poke a knife into the thickest part of the meat.

Remove to a warm platter, skim off the excess oil and de-glaze the pan with a splash of dry sherry or white wine. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve with the juices drizzled over.

Image of chicken with fennel and chorizo, served

8 thoughts on “Chicken with Fennel and Chorizo

    • Goddit! Like all her books, a source of inspiration when you’re looking at the contents of the fridge and your mind is a blank. We have limited success with fennel. One year they did brilliantly and we had enormous bulbs (so to speak) but mostly they produce lots of plumy foliage but don’t fatten up. They need steady watering and lots of tlc. We tend to do better with things that thrive on benign neglect. 🙂

  1. I am all over this recipe, Linda! My family never cooked fennel, although they did use the stalks to season porchetta. As for me, I have cooked with it but usually with baked fish. I think it would go very well with chicken, and since sausage is often seasoned with fennel seed, chorizo would be very tasty here. And, by the way, thank you for cooking thighs with its skin and bones. I always do and wish the tendency to use skinless, boneless breasts would just go away. Far, far away. 🙂

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